I believe that it's the duty of democratic governments to mandate open source and open standards on its own hardware and in its own publications. This so that the government process can be audited by parliament instruments (meaning it's essential to the seperation of powers in the digital age) and so that all citizens and companies can interface with government without having to buy support for closed standards.
Quote from the economist: Modern governments generate a vast number of digital files. From birth certificates and tax returns to criminal DNA records, the documents must be retrievable in perpetuity. So governments are reluctant to store official records in the proprietary formats of commercial-software vendors. This concern will only increase as e-government services, such as filing a tax return or applying for a driving licence online, gain momentum. End quote
The choice demographic of the record industry is kids.
Artists are the central attributes of the products that the record industry sells. It isn't music as much as it is selling lifestyle to kids who have little defense against the advertising onslaught and peer pressure. Music, fashion, drinks, cellphones... If you have an artist you can "bundle" other products and services along with it to that gullible audience.
It doesn't matter that most if not all songs on the CD are crap. These are not works of art. They're works of propaganda to further an image of how a kid should be so that they continue to spend their $ into the illusion they've been captured in.
I've met many decent parents who lost their kids to this ubercommecialism that has gone totally out of control. Naturally there are other artists who do not play in this picture but the very fact they're often signed up with the same record companies should give them pause...
"You show me an American who can keep his mouth shut and I'll eat him." -- Newspaperman from Frank Capra's _Meet_John_Doe_